Willow's kids are two weeks old already, and I am just now getting around to posting about her kidding! The aforementioned big project in my last farm related post is part of the reason . . . last week found us quite busy not only working on, but completing, phase 1 of transforming our chicken pen/coop into a pen for our milkers/milking barn, and phase 2 will hopefully begin soon.
We moved Willow and Dixie and all of their kids to the new pen, and the kids especially enjoyed it! But I am getting a little ahead of myself. :)
Going back to Willow's kidding . . . she went into labor two weeks ago yesterday, and with how things were going, Leah and I both had a feeling that something wasn't quite right. Sure enough, eventually there came a nose, but . . . no feet. So Leah went in while Dad and I held Willow still. There wasn't much working space inside, and it took quite a bit of patience and finagling on Leah's part to finally straighten both front legs in order to get the kid in a position that it could be delivered.
The kid was obviously quite large, and it took a great deal of effort on Willow's part (and Leah's!) to get his head and shoulders delivered and then progress stopped. Dad took over at that point and gently yet firmly pulled the kid the rest of the way out. It was a little tense there for a bit, and there was a quick whispered prayer on my part to the Lord that the kid would be able to be delivered safely . . . and a prayer of thanks afterwards when he was!
After the initial 'enjoy her new kid' moment (always fun to watch!), Willow was obviously not interested in trying to deliver kid #2 and even with me holding the buckling up out of her reach, she still wasn't. At that point, I brought the distractingly noisy buckling inside while Dad and Leah helped deliver the second kid - she needed some gentle pulling, too, as she was also large.
We had originally thought that Willow might have triplets since she was so big beforehand, but with the size of these two kids, we were sure it was just twins. (You know what's going to happen next, right? :)
We were all admiring the two kids, enjoying watching Willow with them, when Dad noticed another foot . . . Willow was going to have triplets! Now, just one foot and no second foot or head is a problem, but when the bottom of that foot is facing up, you know the kid is not in the typical presentation! It could either be upside down (more unlikely) or breech.
Leah went in yet again, discovered that the kid was indeed breech, found and straightened the second leg, waited for Willow to begin pushing again, and when that happened, quickly pulled out another little buckling. He looked tiny compared to the other two!
All three shortly after the third kid (on the far right) was delivered
We were all so glad once all three kids were safely here! Willow was tired, but was doing her job wonderfully with each of them. One big question was in our minds . . . would she accept all three and be able to raise them all or would we be bottle feeding? And . . . she did! (and is.) That was a relief! It helped, we think, that the little guy was so tenacious. He has quite the personality!
All three kids attempting to nurse at the same time - the two in the back kept taking turns :)
Our first set of triplets!
So now we have five Alpine kids frolicking together out in their pen, and it is so fun to watch them! (And I just might have a video to share of them soon.)